WATERLOO, Ill. – The community of Waterloo is in mourning after losing high school senior 17-year-old Max Paul unexpectedly.
Listening to his friends Thursday, it's clear he left a lifetime of memories with them.
While their hearts are full of grief, they were choosing to laugh, and remember the good times with Max, because he's been a part of so many good times for the past 11 years.
"Probably one of my best friends actually," said Dallas Morrow.
Today at a lunch, Morrow and his fellow seniors were remembering a classmate who won't be graduating with them in a few months.
Max Paul had muscular dystrophy, any of his friends will tell you, he didn't let it define his life.
"He never ever once complained about it, and I thought that was remarkable," Morrow said.
Max passed away Tuesday evening after complications from dehydration.
Clearly, he's already missed. Dozens of students have signed a bulletin board in the school’s main hall.
"We were all at a basketball game and our one friend, he got his thousandth point in his varsity career and that's where we found out," Morrow said.
Max was quite the student, and took school seriously. He had a 4.5 GPA, and scored a 34 on his ACT.
While they were all smiles today, the group is preparing to say goodbye to a classmate.
"Being together really helped. When we found out we all went to McDonalds and just sat there and talked about him and made us feel a little better,” Morrow said.
And while these hallways will be a little, quieter and slower now, in max's short life, he taught some valuable lessons.
"Never complained about it and never used it as an excuse, he was always working hard in school no matter what," Morrow said.